By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. ~Hebrews 13:15
The idea of a sacrifice refers to someone or something being offered up without reservation. It has the idea of something being given up for a good purpose. When we study sacrifices in the Bible, we see that they are costly, consuming, and continuous. This morning, we are encouraged to make the sacrifices of praise as a discipline of the Christian life.
We see a painful expiation.
“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” The greatest sacrifice ever made was when our Lord Jesus Christ left the glories of Heaven to become like us, yet without sin, in order that He could be the ultimate sacrifice for sin. Jesus gave Himself voluntarily for the shedding of His blood and eventual death on the cross, so that the sin debt we owe could be paid for in full. The word “expiation” refers to His sacrificial death. Jesus gave His life, His best and His all for our sin debt. In His expiation, Jesus endured the contradiction of sinners, despised the shame, and tasted death for every sinner. Oh what a Savior!
We see an powerful exhortation.
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” We are exhorted to consider what Jesus did for us and make the sacrifice of praise from our lips an ongoing and continuous practice. We can never repay the Lord for His great sacrifice. However, out of adoration and worship to Him, we have a duty to offer the sacrifice of praise from our lips. We are commanded to always be giving thanks to His name. This is a baseline practice every Christian can do. We must use our lips and mouth to be always giving thanks to God for Who He is and what He is always doing in our lives. A spirit of thankfulness is God’s medicine that keeps us from letting bitterness, anger, wrath, unforgiveness, and malice from taking control of our lives.
We see a positive example.
I came across a story from the devotional “Our Daily Bread” that helps us understand the importance of making sacrifices of praise with the fruit of our lips.
“Mel Trotter was a drunken barber whose salvation not only turned his own life around but also changed thousands of others. He was saved in 1897 in Chicago at the Pacific Garden Mission, and not long afterward was named director of the City Rescue Mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Thirty-five years later, at a meeting at the mission, Mel Trotter was conducting ‘Say-So’ time. He asked people in the crowd to testify how Jesus had saved them. That night, a 14-year-old boy stood up and said simply, ‘I’m glad Jesus saved me. Amen.’ Trotter remarked, ‘That’s the finest testimony I ever heard.’ Encouraged by those words from such an important leader, that teenager, Mel Johnson, went on to become a Christian leader in his own right.
Young Mel was encouraged to say so, and he did. Six little words, followed by an encouraging comment. A testimony and an affirmation led to a life of service for God.”
The sacrifice of praise to God, through the fruit of our lips, is something all of us can do. It is a discipline that we must do. Think about how Jesus died for our sins, and spend some time thanking the Lord.
Have a thankful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Deuteronomy 11-13